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City to begin refilling Silver Lake Reservoir

LOS ANGELES — Silver Lake Reservoir, a popular destination for walkers, joggers and sightseers, will soon be filled with water again after having sat empty since 2015, officials announced March 22.

The above-average snowpack this winter is expected to bring massive amounts of water back into the Los Angeles Aqueduct, some of which will be used to refill the reservoir beginning in April in a process that is expected to take two months.

The original plan was for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to begin refilling the reservoir in May using local resources over 12 months.

“The abundant water supply from this winter’s snowfall has come to us with an added benefit,” said Richard Harasick, senior assistant general manager for the Department of Water and Power. “With the above-average snowpack, we have a surplus of water in the L.A. Aqueduct System and with it the opportunity to refill Silver Lake Reservoir ahead of schedule.”

The utility emptied the reservoir in late 2015, turning what was a picturesque blue expanse of water into a brown hole.

The reservoir was drained to construct the Silver Lake Reservoir Complex Bypass Project so the department could comply with updated state and federal regulations requiring the DWP to cover, bypass or treat water stored in its open reservoirs. The bypass diverts drinking water away from the Silver Lake and Ivanahoe Reservoirs to the Headworks Reservoir, which is a new covered water storage facility.

“I want to thank the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for holding true to their promise to refill the Silver Lake Reservoir,” City Councilman David Ryu said. “Today’s announcement guarantees the reservoir will be refilled at a faster rate than originally anticipated. This is a big win for the nearby residents and all Angelenos alike.

“Over the coming months, we will continue to work with all stakeholders in a transparent and engaging community process as we discuss the long-term future of the Silver Lake Reservoir.”

The DWP said that once it is filled, the reservoir will be kept at historic levels ranging between 440 and 450 feet above sea level.

“The recent wet weather has provided us with the opportunity to restore water to the Silver Lake Reservoir ahead of schedule,” Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said. “However, we need to be mindful that water is a precious resource, that this overflow is a gift, and we need to continue to be vigilant in our conservation efforts for water use.

“This principle will factor into our upcoming community master plan process to ensure a long-term, sustainable future for the reservoir.”

 

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